There were big feijoas, small feijoas and even ugly feijoas. Hundreds of people turned out to celebrate the humble green fruit on Sunday.

Organiser Margi Keys said it was the third year Whanganui has held the feijoa festival - a Sustainable Whanganui event where people shared recipes, sang the feijoa song (yes there's such a thing), danced and took part in a feijoa quiz.

Graceyn Wylie, 12, was dressed as - you guessed it - a feijoa, and was the festival's official mascot.

"People usually have far too many feijoas this time of the year," Margi said. "So there are plenty to take home as well."


Others went further, bringing along baking for people to try. The feijoa cake topped with almonds was a hit.

The fruit is usually eaten by cutting it in half, then scooping out the pulp with a spoon.

It is popular to stew them in a pot with sugar and serve hot with vanilla ice cream. The fruits have a juicy sweet seed pulp, and slightly gritty flesh nearer the skin. The flavour is aromatic and sweet.

"It's wholsesome, delicious, bountiful produce," said Margi.

Feijoas are the fruit of Acca sellowiana, an evergreen shrub or small tree, 1-7 m in height and hails from the highlands of southern Brazil, parts of Colombia, Uruguay, Paraguay and northern Argentina.

They are also grown throughout Azerbaijan, Iran, Georgia, Russia and New Zealand.